Why Facebook paid a 10 year old boy for hacking Instagram
10 year old Jani is too young to have an Instagram or Facebook user account according to its user policy but Facebook, now the owners of Instagram, paid him $10000 for hacking Instagram account. The young boy has now become the youngest security researcher to be paid by Facebook’s bug bounty scheme after helping Facebook identify a bug in the software. Previously a 13 year old was the youngest to have reported a vulnerability in the code.
Actually the kid discovered a major flaw on the photo sharing platform Instagram that allowed him to delete any comment from any account on the social media platform. “I would have been able to eliminate anyone, even Justin Bieber,” he told Finnish publication Iltalehti. And you thought your comments on Instagram were safe? He told the publication that he will use the reward money to buy a new bike, football gear, and new computers for himself and his brothers.
In the process, Jani has helped protect the numerous Instagram accounts from losing its brand value as a result of plummeting user engagements. However, most will never know of his contribution.
Jani even demonstrated the flaw in code to Facebook by deleting comments from a test account they had set up to ascertain the veracity of the claim. The bug has been fixed by Facebook after Jani exposed the flaw. The aspiring internet security expert has revealed that he and his brother have in the past come across many flaws but never something ass big as this one. He said that after discovering the security flaw, he wrote an email to Facebook instead of misusing the vulnerability at the code level.
Indian researchers have disclosed more bugs than any other nationality.
Since its launch in 2011, the bug bounty programme of Facebook has awarded more than $4.3 million to more than 800 researchers around the world.